By Brian McKenzie
Living in Florida has many perks. A beach is never far away and sunshine 364 days a years (on average). However, there are a few things that come along with our beautiful weather. When it rains, it rains, and we have very high humidity. We are going to review a couple of cabinet solutions that deal with our specific weather in Florida.
The kitchen is arguably the most important room in your house. So it makes sense to protect that investment and your cabinets. The first solution is to use adjustable legs on your cabinets. When choosing your cabinet box construction, most people go with plywood. Though it’s more expensive, it isn’t effected by water quite as much as furniture board. No matter what, with wood, water will cause expanding, stability issues, and mold. With choosing the adjustable legs, you can use the more affordable furniture board and just have a plywood sink base. The legs will protect the cabinets up to 4 – 4 1/2 inches of water. The look of the cabinet is the same and if you do encounter a flood under the 4 inch mark, just replace the toe kick and any decorative base boards. That’s a much easier task than replacing all of your cabinets.
Another solution we suggest is painted medium density fiberboard (MDF) cabinet fronts. Humidity is definitely an issue in Florida and painted MDF fronts are a great way to combat that. With the popularity of painted finishes these days, they look almost identical to wood doors and have really become a great option. MDF is a high grade, composite material that is more stable than solid wood and is unaffected by changes in heat and humidity. Solid wood boards typically expand and contract both horizontally and vertically which leads to cracking in the seams of the door. Because it’s made from one piece there is no long term cracking or seam separation. Painted MDF is actually a little less expensive than solid wood and usually carries the exact same warranty.
When designing your new kitchen it would be wise to consider our solutions, so that you can significantly lower the time spent on the repair and your frustration level. With any home renovation comes stress for financial reason and just the hassle of it. If bad luck does strike you and you end up being one of the unlucky few that falls victim to the fickle Florida weather, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve chosen the best option at protecting your home?
Compared to other home-improvement projects, a kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make if you’re looking to increase the value of your home. However, the kitchen is the center of the home and any disruption to the family’s daily routine can cause stress. And the options! So. Many. Options. The key is careful planning. Here are a few tips to help you survive:
Enlist the help of a kitchen designer from the very beginning.
Most cabinetry dealers have skilled designers on staff, so take advantage of this service…they may have excellent recommendations for the layout that your architect or contractor had not considered. It’s best to make these changes before your contractor begins work. It will reduce the number of change orders and delays.
Cabinets also take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to receive once the order is placed. This time frame does not include planning. If a designer tells you they can design, price and order your kitchen in 24 hour period, run for your life! Good, error-free designs require careful attention to detail, which requires time. If you want the best kitchen for your budget, don’t rush the planning process.
Have a budget in mind and don’t be afraid to tell your designer what it is…again, from the beginning.
They need that information in order to properly guide you in making realistic decisions and cutting through all the options available in the cabinetry world. If you’re concerned that the designer will sell you a $5000 kitchen and charge you the $10,000 budget you given them, you shouldn’t be working with that designer…period. Work only with people you like and trust. Get referrals, check references. Being honest about your budget will also save you the disappointment of realizing your budget doesn’t fit the fancy pull-out pantry insert or custom door style you fell in love with.
Expect the unexpected, stay calm and give the professionals time to address any issues that come up.
Mistakes will happen, unexpected delays will arise. Generally, issues are small and easily resolved (a drawer front received some damage during shipping), but sometimes they’re big (your contractor discovers mold). When you’re looking for professionals to work with, what you want to look for is someone who has a reputation for seeing the job through to completion and who addresses issues promptly and professionally, and it helps to give them the chance to do this. In my experience, it’s worth noting that the clients who don’t get too worked up about unforeseen issues or delays seem to experience the least of them.
Consider staying elsewhere.
If you have the option to stay elsewhere while the work is being done, by all means, do this. There will be dust…lots of it! Be sure to protect belongings with sheets…even in areas you think will be unaffected. It will make clean up a lot easier.
Eating while Living through a Remodel
The expense of eating out for several weeks adds up, so be sure to take that into consideration when thinking about your budget, if that’s your plan. If you’re on a tight budget, however, you have the option of setting up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the home. You’ll need a microwave, a toaster (ideally a toaster oven,) a refrigerator and if possible, a sink. If you have a laundry sink, this is the ideal spot. Bathroom sinks, not so much. They’re small, it’s difficult to wash dishes and fill pots in. The environmentalist in me hates to recommend this, but if it will make your life easier, use disposable plates and utensils. Then go plant a tree after all is said and done.
Kitchen remodels are never stress-free. However, if you plan carefully and follow these tips, you’ll stress-less. As you’re enjoying a beautiful, functional kitchen for years to come, you’ll be glad you tackled the project!
The Loox LED Lighting System is the industry leading lighting solution for cabinetry, closets, and furniture.
Häfele’s Loox LED cabinet lighting system is unique because it was specifically engineered for cabinets and to meet the needs of kitchen designers and manufacturers. The Loox system also includes a wide assortment of switches that allow for dimming and motion sensors specifically designed for cabinet applications.
For all its advanced technology, the Loox system is unique in that it is completely “plug-and-play” and all the components, connectors and voltage systems are color coded for goof-proof installation. Plug and play also means that no electrician is needed. This is wiring you can do yourself; there’s no need for cutting, soldering or 110-volt tie-ins. Just drill holes for wire routing, mount the fixtures, and plug the driver into the nearest wall outlet.
Once installed, Loox systems remain virtually maintenance-free. Customers appreciate the 50,000-hour LED life as well as the 90% energy savings. In short, LEDs generate less heat, use less energy, and have a long service delay. Plus, LED systems are “instant on” at full brightness. From affordability and ease to flexibility and functionality, integrating LED lighting into cabinetry is a smart option.
McCabinet is happy to be your source for LED lighting!